The New England Patriots must get used to playing without Rob Gronkowski again. That experience could help the Patriots handle his absence. ''I'd like to think there's going to be some carry-over there, not only (from) the first six weeks of the season, but the entire training camp as well,'' coach Bill Belichick said Monday. ''That's the way we practiced and played most of the year.'' Gronkowski was hurt midway through the third quarter of the Patriots' 27-26 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday when he was hit on the knee by safety T.J. Ward after a 21-yard reception.
Jameis Winston will have plenty of company at the Heisman Trophy ceremony - though he's not expected to have much competition. The Florida State quarterback was among a record-tying six Heisman finalists revealed Monday, along with Northern Illinois' Jordan Lynch, Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, Alabama's AJ McCarron, Auburn's Tre Mason and Boston College's Andre Williams.
Mike Shanahan, still for now the coach of the Washington Redskins, made a surprising reversal Monday and said he might bench a ''100 percent'' healthy Robert Griffin III for the rest of the season to keep the quarterback from getting hurt. The coach, for the first time, then explicitly left open the possibility that he might not return next year, saying his future will be decided after he meets with owner Dan Snyder at the end of the season. Shanahan's departure appears more likely than ever after the Redskins (3-10) were embarrassed 45-10 by Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, a fifth straight loss that ensures a third season of double-digit losses in the coach's four seasons in Washington. ''What'll happen at the end of the season, we'll get a chance, Dan and I, to sit down and decide - he'll make the final decision on what's the best interest of the Washington Redskins.
That dang Rally Squirrel still haunts Roy Halladay. Citing a desire to avoid surgery for an ailing back and wanting to spend more time with his family, the two-time Cy Young Award winner retired Monday after 16 seasons in the major leagues with the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies. Halladay signed a one-day contract to retire as a member of the Blue Jays, where he spent the first 12 years of his career. The Phillies had already won three straight division championships, the 2008 World Series and 2009 NL championship by the time Halladay arrived in a blockbuster trade the same day Philadelphia sent ace Cliff Lee to Seattle in a separate deal.
Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox spent decades trying to beat each other, no holds barred. With a combined eight World Series titles and more than 7,500 wins, the managerial trio made it to Cooperstown in results announced Monday. ''And I consider them enemies on the field, but friends off the field.'' All three exceeded the magic benchmark of 2,000 wins - only Connie Mack and John McGraw have won more. ''Managing against them, you certainly learned things,'' said Torre, now an executive vice president for Major League Baseball.
Wes Welker is unlikely to suit up for Denver's game Thursday against San Diego after leaving Sunday's win over Tennessee with his second concussion in four games. Speaking to reporters Monday, coach John Fox didn't rule out his receiver but said Welker's health is the top priority and he would go through the standard NFL protocol for players who have endured concussions. Welker will be under more scrutiny because this is his second concussion since Nov. 17. On Sunday, he was going low to catch a pass when Titans safety George Wilson hit him in the helmet.
Kemba Walker scored 27 of his 31 points in the second half, and the Charlotte Bobcats ruined Stephen Curry's homecoming with a wire-to-wire 115-111 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Monday night. Curry overcame a slow start to finish with a season-high 43 points, 32 of them coming in the second half. Curry, a Charlotte native who burst on the national scene while playing at nearby Davidson College, scored 19 points in the fourth quarter, including a 27-footer with a hand in his face to cut the Bobcats' lead to 111-109 with 11 seconds left. But the Warriors (12-10) couldn't contain Walker, and the point guard hit four free throws in the final 11 seconds to seal the victory.
Wind chill temperatures below zero and two struggling defenses did little to slow the offenses of the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys who were tied 7-7 after one quarter Monday night at Soldier Field. Dallas running back DeMarco Murray rushed for 66 yards on eight carries against the league's worst run defense and Bears quarterback Josh McCown was 5-of-6 passing for 51 yards against the league's worst pass defense. The Cowboys went 75 yards on the game's opening drive with Tony Romo completing a 2-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant on second-and-goal to end the 12-play march. The first 37 yards of the drive came on the ground against Chicago's 32nd-ranked run defense, including a drive-opening 19-yard run off right tackle by Murray.
The trade sending Rudy Gay from the Toronto Raptors to the Sacramento Kings is complete. The Raptors received point guard Greivis Vasquez and forwards Patrick Patterson, John Salmons and Chuck Hayes. The Kings also acquired center Aaron Gray and forward Quincy Acy.
Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings have returned from a painful road trip. Not only did the Vikings lose the lead Sunday in Baltimore three times in the fourth quarter - including twice in the final 90 seconds - then saw their star running back and several other players suffer significant injuries during the loss. Peterson walked through the Vikings locker room with a boot on his right foot Monday on his way to get a CT scan. Peterson said the medical staff has ruled out the type of Lisfranc injury that can keep a player sidelined for months, rather than weeks.